K2 Space Raises $50 Million For ‘Monster Satellites’

K2 Space

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Insider Brief

  • Space startup K2 Space has successfully raised $50 million in a new funding round.
  • The company is involved in making large satellites for latest version of massive rockets.
  • The funding round, led by Altimeter Capital with participation from Alpine Space Ventures.
  • Image: The Mega-class satellite is designed to span 27 m from tip to tip of its solar panels. Credit K2 Space

Los Angeles-based startup K2 Space has successfully raised $50 million in a new funding round. This financial injection comes as the company gears up to manufacture “monster satellites” tailored for the latest generation of massive rockets. CNBC reports that the funding round, led by Altimeter Capital with participation from Alpine Space Ventures, will fuel the company’s efforts to meet the growing demand for its innovative Mega class satellites.

Founded nearly two years ago by brothers Karan and Neel Kunjur, K2 Space is on the cusp of launching its first satellite on a demonstration mission slated for later this year, according to the news network. With $8.5 million previously secured in seed funding from investors including First Round Capital and Republic Capital, the startup has now positioned itself as a pivotal player in the space industry’s push towards larger payloads and more efficient launches.

Karan Kunjur, CEO of K2 Space, discussed the funding round’s significance with CNBC, stating, “This round is effectively built for the demand that we’re seeing for launching constellations of the Mega class satellites.”

The company’s Mega class satellite bus is designed to be compatible with both existing heavy and super heavy rockets, such as SpaceX’s Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy, as well as upcoming launches including SpaceX’s Starship and Blue Origin’s New Glenn.

Priced at $15 million each, K2’s Mega satellites can support up to one ton of payload mass, offering the potential for significant cost efficiencies in space transport.

“We have a pretty modular design, where the customers can dial in just how much payload mass they want, how many satellites they want to launch, and how much propellant they want to carry,” Neel Kunjur, Chief Technology Officer at K2 Space, told CNBC.

The demonstration mission aims to validate the Mega satellite design for various undisclosed customers, including commercial “large satellite operators” and the Department of Defense, with K2 having secured about $6.5 million in contracts from the latter over the past eight months.

K2 Space, which currently operates a 15,000 square foot facility in Torrance, California, and employs 28 staff members with extensive experience from SpaceX, plans to expand its operations. The Kunjurs told CNBC that the new funding will help the acquisition of a 150,000 square foot facility and increase its workforce to over 50 employees, setting the stage for mass production of its Mega satellites.

As the space industry continues to evolve, K2 Space’s advancements in satellite technology and its strategic focus on scalability and customer customization signal a new era of opportunities in space exploration and commercialization, according to CNBC’s reporting.

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